This time of year can play havoc on your digestive system and emotions, so do these moves to ease stress and find downtime.
Congratulations, you’re nearly at the finish line of another year. But as much as Christmas is a time to celebrate with friends and family, it can be incredibly draining.
These calming yoga moves will help you de-stress and clear your mind from the chaos of the festive season.
WHY: This stretches your thighs, knees and ankles as well as aiding digestion. This variation is especially great for the nervous system.
HOW: Set up some soft bolsters or a chair in front of you and take a kneeling posture. If this feels tight on the thighs or ankles, place a block in between your heels and sit back onto it. Then lean forward just enough that you can rest stacked arms on the bolsters (pictured) or chair and relax. Stay for 5 minutes.
WHY: This helps with digestion, relieves the lower back and restores the nervous system.
HOW: Using the same props as the Supported Hero, lie on your back and lift your legs onto the support, so your knees are rested and feet are relaxed. Lay your hands by your sides and begin to relax every muscle in the body. Stay for 5 minutes.
Reclined Half Frog
WHY: As well as improving digestion, this also creates greater mobility in the hips.
HOW: Lie flat on your back with your left leg straight and relaxed along the mat and your right leg turned out at a 90-degree angle, with your knee resting on a towel or block for support. Let your arms rest by your sides, palms facing up. Stay for 2½ minutes then switch sides.
WHY: This works the hips and digestive and nervous systems.
HOW: Lie on your back and bring the soles of your feet together, letting your knees drop out gently to the sides. Place your palms face up by your sides or wherever feels comfortable. If you feel tight in the groin, place a block or towel for support under each knee so you can fully relax. Stay for 5 minutes.
A lot to swallow
We need time to process everyday experiences such as conversations, wins and losses and the implications of each of these. Here are some tips on how to emotionally process for greater clarity.
1. Listen, listen and listen Ever desperate to get your point across in conversation without listening to what the other person is saying? Really listen, pause before responding and ask questions for clarification.
2. Ask your body for direction Feeling indecisive? Take 5 minutes to be still to let the chatter inside your head settle down, then ask your body the questions – it knows the answers. Uncomfortable sensations in the abdomen or chest can mean the decision doesn’t feel right for you, while feelings of comfort, softness or alertness can mean yes.
3. Reflect Take another 5 minutes at the end of your day to acknowledge all the great things you did that day. Also identify areas in which you could improve, knowing that they’re an opportunity for growth.
Tune out with these awesome ASMR videos, including fruit-cutting, drinking, chewing and neck massages. Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is the technical term for what some people describe as ‘brain tingles’. Credit: Various via Storyful